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Volume 4 | Issue 2 | Spring 2017

Minister's Message

Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

One of the reasons that our province has been able to maintain steady growth over the past few years compared to the rest of Canada is because our economy is much more diversified than it was a generation ago.

While our province still relies on our resource industries, our overall economic picture is less affected by downturns in those industries because of the efforts we have made to diversify our economy.

In much the same way, we are working to diversify BC’s workforce to ensure there is a large, capable labour pool of skilled workers poised to fill the nearly

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One of the reasons that our province has been able to maintain steady growth over the past few years compared to the rest of Canada is because our economy is much more diversified than it was a generation ago.

While our province still relies on our resource industries, our overall economic picture is less affected by downturns in those industries because of the efforts we have made to diversify our economy.

In much the same way, we are working to diversify BC’s workforce to ensure there is a large, capable labour pool of skilled workers poised to fill the nearly one million job openings expected in BC over the next decade.

To meet this demand, we are growing our workforce in part by recruiting more women and Aboriginal British Columbians into the skilled trades. It’s why ITA provides programs like Women in Trades Training (WITT), and the Aboriginal Initiatives Skills Training Plan.

In addition, ITA’s Canada-BC Job Fund Agreement programs are supporting women across BC access pre-apprenticeship trades training, while partnerships with community service providers such as ACCESS are supporting Aboriginal people entering the construction trades.

Helping women and Aboriginal British Columbians get the skills they need to access well-paying jobs in the trades and other sectors will continue to be a priority for government and a key factor in BC’s economic success.

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CEO Message

Embracing diversity on the trades landscape

It’s time to bring the importance of diversity, something that is so seemingly engrained in our Canadian culture, back to the forefront of conversation. In the skilled trades specifically—a typically male-dominated industry— women are the largest under-represented group, followed by Aboriginal people, immigrants, and people with disabilities.

At the Industry Training Authority (ITA) we are doing our part, working in partnership with employers, service providers and communities across BC to

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Embracing diversity on the trades landscape

It’s time to bring the importance of diversity, something that is so seemingly engrained in our Canadian culture, back to the forefront of conversation. In the skilled trades specifically—a typically male-dominated industry— women are the largest under-represented group, followed by Aboriginal people, immigrants, and people with disabilities.

At the Industry Training Authority (ITA) we are doing our part, working in partnership with employers, service providers and communities across BC to increase the participation of under-represented groups in skilled trades careers, and we are slowly moving the dial. Our Women in Trades Training (WITT), Aboriginal People in Trades Training (AITT), and Immigrants in Trades Training (ITT) programs are available to individuals who might face barriers, to give them the head start and support they might need to access opportunities. ITA’s goal of leveraging diversity in the skilled trades for the benefit of our province, and to fill the many job opportunities coming our way, directly aligns with B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.

I’ve been told that 15 percent is the tipping point. When 15 percent of the workforce consists of women, that’s when things start to change and momentum starts to build. Diversity is what makes us unique and what leads to success—so let’s work together as a province to get there.

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Spotlight

Rock-solid success, thanks to apprenticeships

On March 8, 2017, women and men all over the world celebrated International Women’s Day, which supports and acknowledges the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The theme for 2017 was #BeBoldForChange, with a call-to-action to forge a better working world for women that is inclusive and gender equal. In the male-dominated skilled trades industry, this day is especially significant, as we acknowledge strong and capable tradeswomen, such as Tawny Fortier.

For Tawny, now a fourth-year electrical apprentice from Kamloops, the skilled trades

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Rock-solid success, thanks to apprenticeships

On March 8, 2017, women and men all over the world celebrated International Women’s Day, which supports and acknowledges the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The theme for 2017 was #BeBoldForChange, with a call-to-action to forge a better working world for women that is inclusive and gender equal. In the male-dominated skilled trades industry, this day is especially significant, as we acknowledge strong and capable tradeswomen, such as Tawny Fortier.

For Tawny, now a fourth-year electrical apprentice from Kamloops, the skilled trades have afforded her opportunities she never thought possible for a woman.

The ITA Women in Trades Training (WITT) program is where Tawny got her start. As a proud Aboriginal woman and mother, the program helped connect her with funded training opportunities, and gave her the support she needed to overcome the barriers that were holding her back from a successful and fulfilling career.

“The WITT program helped me get straight into training by providing the tools, safety gear, tuition, books, and even child care,” says Tawny. “For all the powerful women out there who might be hesitant to take the first step, my advice is to know your worth and go for it.”

Over 3,300 women, just like Tawny, have benefited from the WITT program since it was first introduced in 2008. Alongside BC’s booming economy, it has never been a better time to get in on the action, and to train as a female apprentice and pursue a career in the trades.

Learn more about International Women's Day, and how you can #BeBoldForChange this year by getting started on your trades journey through ITA’s Women in Trades Training (WITT) program.

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In the News

Left to right: East Coast Apprenticeships Industrial Relations Manager, John Young; SkillSource Field Consultant, Amy Power; Exchange Apprentice Ambassador, James Thompson; BCIT School of Construction Associate, Dean Stephen Sallaway; and BCIT Carpentry I

Exchange program showcases BC’s apprenticeship system

Last year, Queensland’s East Coast Apprenticeships (ECA) and sister organization SkillSource BC collaborated on the Canada Exchange Ambassador Scholarship, an innovative venture to bring an Australian Carpenter apprentice to BC for one month to experience our apprenticeship system.

James Thompson was the lucky apprentice who was selected for the 2016 exchange, and was able to complete his one month apprenticeship with Dalmor Construction while attending the British Columbia Institute of

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Exchange program showcases BC’s apprenticeship system

Last year, Queensland’s East Coast Apprenticeships (ECA) and sister organization SkillSource BC collaborated on the Canada Exchange Ambassador Scholarship, an innovative venture to bring an Australian Carpenter apprentice to BC for one month to experience our apprenticeship system.

James Thompson was the lucky apprentice who was selected for the 2016 exchange, and was able to complete his one month apprenticeship with Dalmor Construction while attending the British Columbia Institute of Technology. As a result of this opportunity, not only was James able to grow professionally and personally, but he was also able to develop and grow his passion for the trades.

Upon returning home to Australia, James received the title of Construction Skills Queensland’s “Construction Apprentice of the Year”, Housing Industry Australia’s “Queensland Apprentice of the Year” and Master Builders Queensland’s “Sunshine Coast Apprentice of the Year.”

Innovative collaborations such as this exchange program highlight the endless opportunities that trades careers offer apprentices and tradespeople in BC, and around the world. James’ story is a great example of taking charge of your own apprenticeship journey and making the most of the opportunities available around you.

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In the News

Students of NWCC’s Intro to Trades program help renovate Ksan Place in Terrace.

Students give back to their community through trades training

Earlier this year, Intro to Trades program students at Northwest Community College (NWCC) were able to put their skills to the test, all while giving back to the community.

Ksan Place in Terrace, of the local non-profit Ksan Society, got a facelift thanks to the skills of 15 NWCC students. This opportunity served as an excellent chance for these students to get hands-on experience to complement the classroom training of their trades education.

“This has been an amazing partnership for our students,” said Kelly Swain, Director of Trades, Workforce Training

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Students give back to their community through trades training

Earlier this year, Intro to Trades program students at Northwest Community College (NWCC) were able to put their skills to the test, all while giving back to the community.

Ksan Place in Terrace, of the local non-profit Ksan Society, got a facelift thanks to the skills of 15 NWCC students. This opportunity served as an excellent chance for these students to get hands-on experience to complement the classroom training of their trades education.

“This has been an amazing partnership for our students,” said Kelly Swain, Director of Trades, Workforce Training and Contract Services, NWCC. “Our students are giving back to the community in a lasting way and they are feeling very supported by the Ksan Society and the staff at Ksan Place.”

Find out more about the programs and services funded by the Canada-BC Job Fund – Employment Support Services.

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Aboriginal Initiatives

From far right: Crystal Bouchard, Apprenticeship Advisor, and the Haisla Ledcor HEO cohort.

Haisla Nation partners with Ledcor and LNG Canada on work-based training initiative

Innovative partnerships have been and continue to be one of the key ingredients to ITA’s successes. But, while some of the partnerships are long-standing and well-oiled machines, others are just being forged.

One recent, newly forged partnership capped off 2016 with a big success: a group of nine individuals from the Haisla First Nation in northwestern BC challenged the Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) certification, allowing them to satisfy the certification process while engaged in work-based training. This was made possible by Ledcor, the company employing the individuals

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Haisla Nation partners with Ledcor and LNG Canada on work-based training initiative

Innovative partnerships have been and continue to be one of the key ingredients to ITA’s successes. But, while some of the partnerships are long-standing and well-oiled machines, others are just being forged.

One recent, newly forged partnership capped off 2016 with a big success: a group of nine individuals from the Haisla First Nation in northwestern BC challenged the Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) certification, allowing them to satisfy the certification process while engaged in work-based training. This was made possible by Ledcor, the company employing the individuals, partnering with LNG Canada, the company engaging Ledcor on a site preparation project and a keen supporter of the training initiative.

The partnership was created in large part due to the hard work of ITA’s northwest Apprenticeship Advisor, Crystal Bouchard. As she explains, "it was incredibly rewarding to be a part of this collaboration, and to assist these individuals in completing their HEO Challenge."

“Challenge” initiatives are a usual occurrence in the skilled trades, and this one will serve as a successful model for similar programs in the future, helping to build a skilled workforce and a healthy economy to benefit all British Columbians.

 

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In the News

ITA recognized for cultural diversity

ITA is proud to share that Andrew George, Apprenticeship Advisor, was nominated for a Cultural Diversity Award for his work as an Apprenticeship Advisor and Aboriginal Subject Matter Expert. Andrew is one of ITA’s 15 Apprenticeship Advisors in the province and is responsible for the Fraser Valley region.

As a Red Seal Professional Cook, Andrew understands the value of attaining your ticket or certification. His passion for the skilled trades is the driving force behind his dedication to supporting employers and apprentices along their apprenticeship journeys.

The

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ITA recognized for cultural diversity

ITA is proud to share that Andrew George, Apprenticeship Advisor, was nominated for a Cultural Diversity Award for his work as an Apprenticeship Advisor and Aboriginal Subject Matter Expert. Andrew is one of ITA’s 15 Apprenticeship Advisors in the province and is responsible for the Fraser Valley region.

As a Red Seal Professional Cook, Andrew understands the value of attaining your ticket or certification. His passion for the skilled trades is the driving force behind his dedication to supporting employers and apprentices along their apprenticeship journeys.

The Cultural Diversity Awards is an annual event that recognizes the best practices of Fraser Valley organizations, initiatives, and individuals that work towards building an inclusive community.

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In the News

Vancouver Island Learning Councils chart decisive course towards economic growth

When it comes to a community’s economic success, collaboration is key. For two Vancouver Island communities, this means bringing together key stakeholders to sit around a table and get down to business on the needs of their local businesses.

Last year, community leaders in Port Alberni and Campbell River identified the need to better integrate the needs of employers, job-seekers, educators, industry, and government to enable sector growth.

Both cities decided to set up “Learning Councils,” each comprised of important local stakeholders. Although newly

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Vancouver Island Learning Councils chart decisive course towards economic growth

When it comes to a community’s economic success, collaboration is key. For two Vancouver Island communities, this means bringing together key stakeholders to sit around a table and get down to business on the needs of their local businesses.

Last year, community leaders in Port Alberni and Campbell River identified the need to better integrate the needs of employers, job-seekers, educators, industry, and government to enable sector growth.

Both cities decided to set up “Learning Councils,” each comprised of important local stakeholders. Although newly formed, the Learning Councils have already begun identifying priority sectors they hope to grow. Their goals include: increasing aboriginal engagement, growing apprenticeships, and encouraging the creation of more employer sponsors. They’ll also be looking at ways to better integrate high schools, post-secondary institutions, and industry in the apprenticeship program.

The Learning Councils offer a great model for communities around the province who want to grow their local economies and ensure a bright future for BC’s skilled workforce.

Contact Doug Podetz, Apprenticeship Advisor, ITA, for more information.

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Youth Initiatives

Successful youth Regional Roadshow wraps up

In February, ITA capped off its whirlwind tour of BC school districts with a stop in Trail, to award Kootenay-Columbia (SD 20) with the Youth Work in Trades Performance Award for having the highest program registration in the region.

This was the eighth stop in ITA's Regional Roadshow. In total, close to 300 employers, apprentices, educators and ITA representatives came out to attend ceremonies across the province. In addition to Trail, Performance Awards were presented to: Chilliwack (SD 33),

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Successful youth Regional Roadshow wraps up

In February, ITA capped off its whirlwind tour of BC school districts with a stop in Trail, to award Kootenay-Columbia (SD 20) with the Youth Work in Trades Performance Award for having the highest program registration in the region.

This was the eighth stop in ITA's Regional Roadshow. In total, close to 300 employers, apprentices, educators and ITA representatives came out to attend ceremonies across the province. In addition to Trail, Performance Awards were presented to: Chilliwack (SD 33), Fort St. John (SD 60), Kitimat (SD 82), Oliver (SD 53), Parksville-Qualicum (SD 69), Prince George (SD 57), and Smithers (SD 54).

The award included $5,000 in additional funding for each school district to further develop its Youth Work in Trades program. The program is a partnership between ITA and the BC Ministry of Education and allows youth to begin the work-based training component of an apprenticeship while still in secondary school.

Find out more about ITA Youth Programs.

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Blueprint

Build your future in the trades with WorkBC’s enhanced Blueprint builder

Are you considering an exciting, well-paid career in the trades? Visit WorkBC’s recently refreshed Blueprint Builder tool for a great place to start exploring your options.

In three easy steps, Blueprint Builder’s redesigned homepage will guide you to build your personal career planning Blueprint. Find key career exploration, education and funding, and job search resources, including those that match your profile. Use the “featured” resources to help you get the most from your Blueprint. The featured

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Build your future in the trades with WorkBC’s enhanced Blueprint builder

Are you considering an exciting, well-paid career in the trades? Visit WorkBC’s recently refreshed Blueprint Builder tool for a great place to start exploring your options.

In three easy steps, Blueprint Builder’s redesigned homepage will guide you to build your personal career planning Blueprint. Find key career exploration, education and funding, and job search resources, including those that match your profile. Use the “featured” resources to help you get the most from your Blueprint. The featured resources include: Career Trek videos, Career Compass quizzes and career profiles, EducationPlannerBC, and WorkBC’s Job Board and Apprentice Job Match Tool.

Consider building your career future in BC’s trades landscape. Use Blueprint Builder to help you lay your foundation!

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Information Boxes

Women at work across the province

Women apprentices, tradespeople and trades students across BC are out and about, showing off their skills and networking to get ahead! From the Peace Region Regional Skills Competition and Women in Trades conference in Dawson Creek, to the Riverside College Women in Trades events in the Fraser Valley, our province is ripe with proud, passionate women who are motivated to learn, grow, and succeed as women in the trades.

Video: End the violence against women at work

As part of the

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Women at work across the province

Women apprentices, tradespeople and trades students across BC are out and about, showing off their skills and networking to get ahead! From the Peace Region Regional Skills Competition and Women in Trades conference in Dawson Creek, to the Riverside College Women in Trades events in the Fraser Valley, our province is ripe with proud, passionate women who are motivated to learn, grow, and succeed as women in the trades.

Video: End the violence against women at work

As part of the Be More Than a Bystander campaign, the Province, Encana and the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) partnered to create a training video aimed at ending violence against women in all industries.

Violence against women affects everyone, and impacts our worksites. We all have a role to play in standing up, and speaking out to break the silence.

#BeMoreThanABystander

Read it here: Employer best practice guides

Women and Aboriginal people continue be under-represented in the skilled trades. In an effort to debunk myths and arm employers with the knowledge needed to build a skilled workforce, ITA developed two best practice guides, one for Women in the Trades, and the other for Aboriginal People in the Trades.

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Meet B.C.'s Champions of Apprenticeship

Today's youth have an array of career options to choose from, but they also face the perception that the skilled trades are not the most desirable career choice. In order to keep our construction and other skilled labour sectors robust and growing, we must be proactive in presenting the trades as a desirable career option for our youth.

Have your say

Trades Talk strives to report on the issues and challenges that matter to you. We want to hear your solutions, best practices and success stories. We would also appreciate your feedback on Trades Talk and any suggestions you have. Email your comments to tradestalk@itabc.ca.